Alan Reed | The Sun
Michael Cornwell stocks oils at Food World IGA of Future City. Store manager Barry Babb said customers seem split along generational lines about preferences for oils and fats. Older customers accustomed to butter, lard and less healthful products still purchase them. Younger customers concerned with health-conscious products prefer canola and olive oils.
By Alan Reed
Eating the right fats and oils may mean the difference between a healthy life and heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other problems.
Georgia Boyd, a registered dietitian at Western Baptist Hospital, said oils are essential for health, energy and cell growth and repair. Oils also protect organs, keep the body warm and are required for healthy hair and skin along with hormone production.
“The disadvantage is we tend to eat too much oil in our diet,” Boyd said. “Too much of even good kinds can cause weight gain. Oils have about 9 calories per gram compared to 4 for carbohydrates and proteins.”
Boyd said the most healthful fats include mono and poly-unsaturated fats. Olive oil, canola, peanut oils and oils found in nuts and seeds are included in mono-unsaturated oils. Those oils lower cholesterol levels and improve low-density or healthy cholesterol levels. Poly-unsaturated fats include corn, soybean, safflower, fish oil and omega 3 fatty acids. Those also lower overall cholesterol levels and increase healthy low-density cholesterol levels. Boyd added those oils should be consumed in moderation because they are all high in calories.
“Saturated fats are fats that are solid at room temperature. They can raise cholesterol and cause heart disease,” Boyd said. “These include fatty meats, dairy fats like butter, lard, coconut and palm oils.”
Boyd listed a fourth group of fats with trans fat. These are also known as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. They are often found in baked goods, shortening and margarine. They can also increase cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.
“In an 1,800 calorie-per-day diet, we recommend 60 grams of total fat, and about 14 grams or less of saturated fat,” Boyd said. “We recommend 30 percent or less of total calories come from fat, 7 percent or less from saturated fat and less than 1 percent come from trans fat.”
Barry Babb, store manager at Food World IGA of Future City, said his customers seem to be split along generational lines about fat purchases. Older customers used to butter, lard and shortening seem to stay with these products. Younger customers aware of health-conscious products seem to prefer more olive and canola oils.
“Some customers seem to like olive oils, while others prefer cheaper products like canola or vegetable oils,” Babb said. “Mostly, it seems to be along the generation gap. We’ve been selling more healthy oils in the past two or three years, though.”
Denise Wooley, McCracken County Extension agent for consumer science, said many homemakers are seeking recipes with less oil to reduce calories and offer more healthful meals.
“Especially in baking you can replace oil with apple sauce,” Wooley said. “You can substitute it at a 1-for-1 ratio, I also have a recipe to replace oil and eggs in a chocolate cake mix with pumpkin. It keeps the cake sweet and moist but it’s better for your health.”
Wooley said cooking sprays can also be used for saut